12 MAY 2014
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Prospective easyJet passengers should not get worried if they read in national newspapers, or see on TV, that easyJet is developing drones. The pilotless aircraft in question will be used to scan and assess easyJet planes and report damage back to engineers. The project is being developed by a team that includes experts from the University of Bristol.
Britain’s largest airline has a reputation for innovation and late in 2011 instigated a programme aimed at reducing delays caused by volcanic eruptions.
easyJet plans to test the drones within the coming months.
"Aircraft inspection is a great application for drones," said Dr Arthur Richards, Head of Aerial Robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
"Coupled with smart navigation and computer vision, they can get accurate data from really awkward places."
The flying robots are being developed by Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a collaboration between the University of Bristol and the University of West England. The robot can be remotely controlled, but easyJet wants to automate drone flights.
The drones are fitted with high definition video cameras. It is safer to have drones working at height than humans having to go up on a rig. www.easyjet.com
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